United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Columbus Division
EMMETT L. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
BROOKS TRUCKING COMPANY INC. OF MEMPHIS, CANAL INSURANCE COMPANY, RICHARD A. MARCHETTI, JUDGE WILLIAM C. RUMER, BROWN & ADAMS, LLC, CLAYTON M. ADAMS, AUSTIN & SPARKS, P.C., JOHN T. SPARKS, SR., NALL & MILLER, LLP, MARK D. LEFKOW, Defendants.
D. LAND CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
case arises from a September 17, 2004 automobile collision
between Plaintiff Emmett Williams and an employee of
Defendant Brooks Trucking Company Inc. of Memphis
("Brooks Trucking"). Williams filed a state court
personal injury action against Brooks Trucking and lost at
trial ("personal injury action") . He claims that
the loss was the result of Brooks Trucking's attorney,
Defendant Richard Marchetti, having unlawful contact with the
jury. Proceeding pro se, Williams
brought a state court action based on Marchetti's conduct
("state court constitutional action"). Williams
lost that case. Still pro se, Williams now claims in
this Court that all of the attorneys, parties, and the
superior court judge involved in his state court actions
violated his rights. Defendants move to dismiss or,
alternatively, for summary judgment. For the reasons
discussed below, the Court finds that all Defendants are
entitled to dismissal and grants their motions (ECF Nos. 4,
13, 15, & 24). There is therefore no need to address some
Defendants' alternative arguments for summary judgment.
Williams also filed a motion indicating that he intends to
obtain counsel. To the extent that Williams asks the Court to
defer ruling on Defendants' motions until he does so, the
Court denies that motion (ECF No. 49).
survive a motion to dismiss, "a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a
claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'"
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The
factual allegations must be sufficient "to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level ... on the assumption
that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact) ." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Thus, "a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it
strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is
improbable." Id. at 556.
does not dispute the authenticity of several state court
documents offered by Defendants in support of their motions.
Considering these documents and accepting Williams's
factual allegations as true, the record reveals the
following. See Horsley v. Feldt, 304 F.3d 1125, 1134
(11th Cir. 2002) ("[A] document attached to a motion to
dismiss may be considered by the court without converting the
motion into one for summary judgment only if the attached
document is: (1) central to the plaintiff's claim; and
(2) undisputed . . . mean[ing] that the authenticity of the
document is not challenged.").
Personal Injury Action
September 17, 2004, an employee of Defendant Brooks Trucking
hit another car into Williams's vehicle. Brooks
Trucking's Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 1, Compl. in
SU-06-CV-2981-8 ¶¶ 5 & 6, ECF No. 15-3.
Williams sued for damages in Muscogee County Superior Court,
and the case proceeded to trial before Defendant Judge
William Rumer. Defendant Marchetti represented Brooks
Trucking at trial. Williams claims that during a lunch break
on Saturday, October 13, 2012, Marchetti had contact with two
jurors. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Brooks
Trucking later that day.
moved for a new trial based on Marchetti's alleged
contact with the jurors. Judge Rumer held an evidentiary
hearing where Marchetti testified that he went to the
bailiff's office for about fifteen minutes during the
lunch break on October 13 to watch an Auburn/Old Miss
football game. Marchetti et al.'s Mot. to
Dismiss Ex. 8, PI. ' s Notice of Intent to Seek Cert. Ex.
C, Marchetti Testimony 111:1-8, ECF No. 4-10 at 9.
Apparently, in doing so, Marchetti walked by or through the
jury room. Marchetti testified that he did not have contact
with any of the jurors because the jurors were still at
lunch. Id. at 111:9-112:9, ECF No. 4-10 at 9-10.
Judge Rumer denied Williams's motion for new trial.
Brooks Trucking's Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 11, Order Den. Mot.
for New Trial in SU-ll-CV-2752- 05, ECF No. 15-13. Williams
appealed, and the Georgia Court of Appeals dismissed the
appeal due to Williams's failure to pay the filing fee.
Brooks Trucking's Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 13, Order
Dismissing Appeal in A14A1332, ECF No. 15-15.
State Court Constitutional Action
August 4, 2013, Williams sued Marchetti, Brooks Trucking, and
Canal Insurance Company, claiming that Marchetti violated his
constitutional rights by tampering with the jury verdict in
the personal injury action and lying about it under
oath. Brooks Trucking's Mot. to Dismiss Ex.
14, Compl. in SU- 15-CV-2322-05, ECF No. 15-16. On October
27, 2015, Judge Rumer granted Marchetti's, Brooks
Trucking's, and Canal Insurance's motions to dismiss
or, alternatively, for summary judgment. Brooks
Trucking's Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 22, Order Granting
Defs.' Respective Mots, to Dismiss/Mots, for Summ. J.,
ECF No. 15-24. Williams appealed and the Georgia Court of
Appeals affirmed. Brooks Trucking's Mot. to Dismiss Ex.
27, Order in No. A16A1793, ECF No. 15-29. Williams moved for
reconsideration, which the court denied. Brooks
Trucking's Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 36, Order Den. Mot. for
Reconsideration in A16A1793, ECF No. 15-38. Williams appears
to have indicated intent to seek certiorari from the United
States Supreme Court, but it is unclear if he did. Brooks
Trucking's Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 37, Notice of Intent to
Seek Cert. 5, ECF No. 15-39. On March 10, 2017, Williams
filed the present action in this Court.
purports to assert claims for due process violations,
discrimination under Title VII, violations of the Thirteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution, extortion, mail
fraud, and racketeering. It is unclear what conduct Williams
believes violates Title VII's prohibition of employment
discrimination or the Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition
of slavery, and the Court finds both of these provisions
inapplicable to the facts of this case. Williams's claims
of extortion and racketeering appear to be based on him
paying a filing fee and other costs associated with the state
court constitutional action. See PI.'s Resp. 4,
ECF No. 33. Williams's claims for mail fraud appear to be
based on Defendants serving Williams with documents
throughout that litigation. See PL's Suppl.
Resp. Ex. F, Mail Fraud, ECF No. 44. None of this conduct
violates the law. The Court finds that Williams's claims
are best characterized as 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims for
violations of the due process clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution.